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Zipf's law of abbreviation as a language universal

Author
Bentz, C.; Ferrer-i-Cancho, R.
Type of activity
Presentation of work at congresses
Name of edition
Leiden Workshop on Capturing Phylogenetic Algorithms for Linguistics 2015
Date of publication
2015
Presentation's date
2015-10
Book of congress proceedings
Proceedings of the Leiden Workshop on Capturing Phylogenetic Algorithms for Linguistics
First page
1
Last page
4
Publisher
University of Tübingen
DOI
10.15496/publikation-10057
Repository
http://hdl.handle.net/2117/178845 Open in new window
URL
https://publikationen.uni-tuebingen.de/xmlui/handle/10900/68639?locale-attribute=en Open in new window
Abstract
Words that are used more frequently tend to be shorter. This statement is known as Zipf’s law of abbreviation. Here we perform the widest investigation of the presence of the law to date. In a sample of 1262 texts and 986 different languages - about 13% of the world’s language diversity - a negative correlation between word frequency and word length is found in all cases. In line with Zipf’s original proposal, we argue that this universal trend is likely to derive from fundamental principl...
Citation
Bentz, C.; Ferrer-i-Cancho, R. Zipf's law of abbreviation as a language universal. A: Leiden Workshop on Capturing Phylogenetic Algorithms for Linguistics. "Proceedings of the Leiden Workshop on Capturing Phylogenetic Algorithms for Linguistics". Tübingen: University of Tübingen, 2016, p. 1-4.
Group of research
LARCA - Laboratory of Relational Algorithmics, Complexity and Learnability

Participants

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